Braves rookie Mallex Smith leaves debut with bloody face

Associated Press

It was a big day for Mallex Smith yesterday. The Braves center field prospect was called up and penciled into the lineup to leadoff in his first ever major league game. Was he ready? Hard to say. Baseball America ranks Smith as the No. 10 overall prospect in the Braves’ system and the ex-football player is probably still raw. But they needed an outfielder, he’s their best outfield prospect and he’s fast as all get-out, having stole 88 bases in 2014 and 56 a year ago. The Braves stink. Let the kid run!

And Smith ran. He was standing on first base following a fielder’s choice in the fourth inning. He broke for second, trying to steal. He slid head first into the bag just as the throw from Wilson Ramos got there. Except his helmet fell off, bounced off the ground and smashed into his own face. It gave him a laceration over his left eye. A pretty bloody one, as you can see above. You can watch the play here if you’re into that sort of thing.

Smith was not only out on the play but he was out of the game. He may be given another day off or two. It was already a memorable debut for Smith, who earlier singled. Now he will have something additionally to remember it by. A scar.

Phillies’ Bryce Harper to miss start of season after elbow surgery

Getty Images

PHILADELPHIA – Phillies slugger Bryce Harper will miss the start of the 2023 season after he had reconstructive right elbow surgery.

The operation was performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache in Los Angeles.

Harper is expected to return to Philadelphia’s lineup as the designated hitter by the All-Star break. He could be back in right field by the end of the season, according to the team.

The 30-year-old Harper suffered a small ulnar collateral ligament tear in his elbow in April. He last played right field at Miami on April 16. He had a platelet-rich plasma injection in May and shifted to designated hitter.

Harper met Nov. 14 with ElAttrache, who determined the tear did not heal on its own, necessitating surgery.

Even with the elbow injury, Harper led the Phillies to their first World Series since 2009, where they lost in six games to Houston. He hit .349 with six homers and 13 RBIs in 17 postseason games.

In late June, Harper suffered a broken thumb when he was hit by a pitch and was sidelined for two months. The two-time NL MVP still hit .286 with 18 homers and 65 RBIs for the season.

Harper left Washington and signed a 13-year, $330 million contract with the Phillies in 2019. A seven-time All-Star, Harper has 285 career home runs.

With Harper out, the Phillies could use Nick Castellanos and Kyle Schwarber at designated hitter. J.T. Realmuto also could serve as the DH when he needs a break from his catching duties.